POULSBO — Developers are hoping to bring a five-story, 59,500-square-foot Best Western Hotel to Forest Rock Lane near Central Market.
The proposed site is a forested 2.5-acre parcel on a steep slope adjacent to Poulsbo Reliable Storage. It has a 10,000-square-foot wetland that would require an 80-foot buffer between it and any buildings.
Project applicant Benny Kim, an Edmonds-based architect, said the difficult terrain could prove to be problematic.
City officials agree.
“They’re definitely going to have some issues,” said Edie Berghoff, associate planner with the city.
Mayor Becky Erickson called the parcel a “very challenging location,” although it is in fact zoned for commercial use.
“To say that this is going to happen is way premature,” Erickson said. “There are other properties along … the 10th Avenue corridor that would probably work better,” she added.
In its current conception, the hotel would feature 94 guest rooms and on-site parking for 84. The total project cost is estimated at $8.9 million.
Erickson cautioned that pre-application plans are tentative, noting that Safeway had to adapt its original plans to meet code.
“When Safeway came in they had a way different plan than what’s there now,” Erickson said.
Dan Batman, president of the Forest Rock Lane Homeowners Association, doesn’t think Forest Rock Lane residents would be encumbered by a nearby hotel.
“I don’t see that it’d create any traffic (in the neighborhood),” Batman said.
The hotel wouldn’t impede much on the view for Forest Rock residents. Erickson said they would be able to see Best Western’s roof, much in the way they can see Central Market’s.
The city will host a pre-application meeting Dec. 1 at Poulsbo City Hall. The conference is a private meeting between city departments and the applicant, during which the city will offer advice on how to ensure the project meets code.
The city will release a summary of the meeting in mid-December.
There are two hotels in Poulsbo: The Poulsbo Inn & Suites, 83 guest rooms, on Highway 305; and the Guesthouse Inn, 63 rooms, on 7th Avenue NE.
According to Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion acquired the GuestHouse International and Settle Inn & Suites brands, but the Poulsbo Guesthouse Inn will not change its name, according to a Guesthouse employee.
A conceptual drawing of the proposed Best Western Hotel on Forest Rock Lane. Submitted image
The hotel would sit at the top of a steep slope. Submitted image
The proposed site features 10,000 square feet of wetland. Submitted image